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Giuseppe Termanini (Lagnasco Group PO)

"Italy: Markets are not based only on "Quality v. Price"

"In Piedmont, the 2013 peach and nectarine season started two weeks later than in 2012, with the first sales made only in late July. At the beginning, prices were good, however the market (more for exports than for the domestic market) "cooled down", with a drop in prices at the beginning of August due to the bad example of some European chains. This compromised profitability despite the excellent quality of fruit," reports Giuseppe Termanini, director of the Lagnasco Group PO - one of the most important cooperatives in North-West Italy.

From a quantity point of view, despite a 10% drop for our partners, the volumes were in line with 2012 - around 13,000 tons of peaches and nectarines and 2,000 of late plums. The latter arrived on the domestic and foreign markets with good prices thanks to lower supplies from Spain.

The director thinks that the only strategy is to work on a revision of the late peach assortment in order to avoid the concentration of products which characterises the final part of the season.

Davide Brero (CdA advisor) and Giuseppe Termanini (director).

"The feedback some antique white peach and nectarine varieties obtained in the domestic and European markets seems to support this solution. It is a phenomenon which should be promoted especially abroad. In fact, we have noticed how there is a lot of interest for those products that need to be saved from extinction."

Apple campaign: expectations and new challenges
Talking about the apple campaign, the director refers that, "at a first glance, I would say that the scenario is completely different than 2012, mainly because of factors related to latitude. In fact, Northern Europe demands Gala apples and prices are interesting, whereas in the South-Mediterranean demand is still weak because there are still stocks from Chile and New Zealand available."

According to Termaninin, the real "match" will be disputed in October i.e. a month later than usual. Piedmont will be able to rely on a high quality product thanks to a very good year: "Gala and Red Delicious are particularly good, with good colours and high sugar contents. We have started harvesting Gala apples the first week of September, whereas we will start with Red Delicious towards the last week of the month. We expect good results also as regards quantities and yields for both varieties."

Concerning work organisation and technical innovation, the director reports that "we will have to be very careful about storage, because of the delay in harvest, combined with improved techniques to preserve the quality of the produce and of its organoleptic qualities. I would say that the season seems good. In addition, starting this year we can also rely on the PGI mark for the red apple of Cuneo, a typical local product that could not have chosen a better year to be "baptised" on the Italian and international markets!"

The main competitors for apples from Piedmont are France and Poland, but the great enemy for this season's apples will be the dangerous political situation in the Mediterranean and Middle-Eastern area.

The market is not based only on "Quality vs. Price"
To conclude, Giuseppe Termanini adds that, "the balance between demand and supply and quality and price, both in the fruit and vegetable sector and elsewhere, is determined by the consumption index. Because of it, suppliers and distributors can judge that we are still not recovering. All this goes in addition to weather problems and to the fractioning of the supply due to the concentration of demand groups." 

For further info:
Giuseppe Termanini - Director
Lagnasco Group Soc. Coop. arl
Via Santa Maria, 2
12030 Lagnasco (CN)
Tel.: (+39) 0175 282119
Fax: (+39) 0175 282181

Author: Renata Cantamessa

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